Holding the Rope
Dean and Kathie Carlson, CCCC International Workers with OC International
We love rope-holders! …The concept of rope-holders is 200 years old. We learned it from William Carey – known as the father of modern missions. When Carey was boarding the ship to India, he turned to his friends and compared missions to a person being lowered into a cave on a rescue mission. Carey made a heartfelt appeal: “I will go where you won’t go, but please hold the rope.” His friends took up the challenge and prayed, assisted, and supported Carey for years. Their rope-holding effort enabled Carey to be powerfully used of the Lord to bring positive change to India.
We shared this story with friends in 1989 as we ventured into Africa, and have been humbled by those the Lord has raised up as our personal rope-holders in mission. We’re awed at those who have prayerfully supported our ministry from the beginning, and are deeply grateful for those who have taken hold of the rope along the way. Working together, God has used our teamwork to advance the Great Commission in Africa and around the world.
One of our beloved rope-holders was a 99-year-old woman who’d held our rope for nearly 25 years. She and her husband loved the Lord and passionately worked to share hope in Jesus around the world. When he passed, she continued to firmly hold the rope, contributing an astounding [monthly amount] to our ministry. It’s amazing to look back and see how the Lord used her faithfulness to expand the ministry. She’s now being rewarded for a life of joyful generosity.
Our rope-holders have enabled us to reach deep, dream big, and go far in catalyzing church planting movements, mobilizing missionaries from the Global South, equipping women, building partnerships, and developing mission-minded leaders at every level. We’re following the Lord forward in a very fruitful season of ministry. As president of One Challenge, I have the joy of leading some 300 U.S.-sent workers and influencing 718 Global Alliance workers impacting 103 nations. Committed to lead by example, we’re responsible to raise all the support necessary for our leadership responsibilities, ministry travel, and salary.
The passing of such a major supporter presents us with a new opportunity to trust God for his provision. Would you pray with us for God to raise up new rope-holders to take her place? It could be that the Lord would move the hearts of current partners to strengthen their grip through increased prayer and monthly support. If you sense the Lord’s prompting, we’d be happy to connect personally if you’d like to explore possibilities.
We love the promise in Zephaniah 2:11 –
“Distant nations will bow down to him, all of them in their own lands.” Together, as we seek God’s honor and serve the global church, this is coming true before our very eyes.
Thanks for your strong grip!